Posted by: innerpilgrimage | May 4, 2010

A Busy Life, An HP-Driven Life

      This is a short entry today, since I have a lot to do and limited time.

      As much as I would like to say my life today has been HP-driven (yesterday as well), it has been a lot less guided by my Higher Power and more by my self-will.
      How do I know?
      My food plan feels too small today. I mean, constrictively small. I was on the edge of a binge, and I was able to pull back. Sure, what I was planning to eat a few minutes ago was “within my plan”, but I had fantasies of many other things I wanted to eat, too. I considered how to fit them into my plan, and eat them right then. I really wasn’t focused on spreading my food plan out over the day. That’s when I knew it was a problem, and I had a third of what I had planned to eat and put the rest away.
      The project is going well, which is nice. Unfortunately, I am up against the wall on it. I have four days to deliver by the time I planned to. No one has tried the video in the DVD player yet, and I’m worried about it. But I haven’t gotten access to the DVD player. However, I should have a finished project as of tomorrow. Just fine tuning, and I am done. Unfortunately, I have hours of work ahead of me.
      Happily, I am driven to complete it, which is good. I don’t have everything I need, but I have what I have, and that’s all I can work with. I fear the imperfection will reflect on me, but it honestly was a group effort. I could have personally pushed harder to get the pictures, to get what I needed to complete the project. But I pushed some, and pushing harder might have made others unhappy with me.
      Yesterday in meeting, we discussed Step Ten from the OA 12&12. I like Steps 10 through 12 a lot, but I am not sure when I’ve reached Step 12 for the first time . . . when I have completed my 12th Step and am ready to cycle through Steps 10 through 12 for the rest of my life. Step 10, of course, makes Steps 1 through 9 a daily process and allows me to progress. There’s no demand for me to be perfect, only to make a conscious effort to learn. And it’s a relief that even when I’m “done” with my Step Four inventory and my Step Eight-and-Nine letters, it’s expected to have new things crop up in daily life. I think the effort is to do the big spiritual housecleaning, then maintain picking up the spiritual clutter. But when do I reach Step Twelve?
      Well, I know I will start back on track in one week. Back to Step Eight, to dealing with things other than this video. I thought I would enjoy it, and I have not. I don’t know what next year will bring, but I do know that when I am done with this, I will be greatly relieved.
      On other fronts, my family’s finances are going to take a small hit once our renter leaves our primary residence. We had to flee our home state to find work in another state. We are now residents of the new state, but we can’t unload the house in the other state. So, my husband makes enough that we should be able to live very comfortably and put aside savings and pay off (not just down) our revolving debt. But because we have thousands of dollars pouring into that money pit in the other state, we are essentially locked into a pretty unpleasant life. Our credit score is good, which is nice. That doesn’t matter, though, because we are hanging on week by week, hoping that we can survive the recession just long enough to pay off our creditors and get enough equity on the home (it’s dropped to less than half of the price we purchased it at–thank goodness we used all the proceeds from the sale of our first home toward lowering the initial mortgage on this one!) to either refinance or sell. Selling is the first choice. We don’t want to live in the state we came from. What’s sad is that I was a seventh generation resident of the state. I once was proud of it. Now it’s such an unpleasant place for the people who live there that I feel sad for them. Though I am relieved I am in my current state of residence. I never thought I could be.
      This recession is awful, and I am so humbly grateful to my Higher Power that we are among the fortunate to have an income at all. I am just sad that my husband is trapped in work he doesn’t find fulfilling any longer. What’s worse, he works long hours (50-100 hours per week). He tries so hard to do his best, knowing that layoffs could be just around the corner. So many people have done the same yet were laid off anyway. So many people are about to face off with no income at all, and the influx into places like where I volunteer will be unfathomable.
      Yesterday, I worked at a food kitchen for the homeless. What startled me was how many professionals–people who were wearing office clothing and were groomed for office work–ate lunch there yesterday. These people are there because they are trying to find work. They don’t look like people envision a “homeless person”. These people cannot afford to eat, and that small lunch at the dining room may have been their only meal as they struggle to find a job. To those people who have let millions of American workers go to outsource to cheap international labor which sells and loses their information? You have created a starving, homeless underclass of Americans want to work. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t have seen them in the homeless dining room. So when people complain at the people who are currently on the streets to “Get a job”? Offer them one.
      The bottom line shouldn’t be money. It’s about having a soul and having empathy (or at least sympathy) for fellow Americans. It’s about rebuilding the United States. It’s about ten years from now, not next quarter.
      But I am yelling into the maelstrom, and my voice–along will the voices of millions of others–is not heard. So, I guess it’s time to shut my mouth and send my hope to where it will be heard–My Higher Power.
      Speak. Listen. Act. All to my Higher Power. That’s the essence of Step Ten for me. Now I just have to do it.
      My name is Jess, and I am a food addict. I gave in to my character defects a lot recently, and I’ve found that my abstinence is in jeopardy for it. I have received stress that I can handle if I consider what is important to maintain a sane life. Right now, I am living minute to minute, hoping to get through today. I have taken my abstinence for granted, and I am finding today I may break it if I cannot release my self-will to my Higher Power . . . PDQ.

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